David Preston Guest Post: Losing Context to Rewrite History

To say a President vetoed a bill (or supported it) without considering the context doesn’t shed any light on the matter. In some cases, it can even mislead, as this meme does. A five-second Google search turned up this on a PBS page:

“[President Nixon] sent dozens of environmental proposals to Congress, including the Clean Air Act of 1970, perhaps one of the most significant pieces of environmental legislation ever passed. He also created two new agencies, the Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency, to oversee environmental matters.

While Nixon increased spending on domestic initiatives during his presidency, he consistently stood by the New Federalist principle of fiscal efficiency. Nixon insisted that all environmental proposals meet the cost-benefit standards of the Office of Management and Budget. In 1972, he vetoed the Clean Water Act, which he generally supported, because Congress had boosted its cost to $18 billion. When Congress overrode his veto, he used his presidential powers to impound half of the money.” 


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